Last year the Chiefs had their worst record since 1988. To put that in perspective Faith by George Michael was the best selling single in the country in 88, Rain Man was the top movie, and Frank Ganz was the teams head coach. Last year Larry Johnson got hurt – coincidence? Every Chiefs fan knows the key to a successful 2008 campaign is a healthy and dominant Johnson. Keep in mind the Chiefs were in first place when L.J. got hurt. The question has to be “is L.J. broken after his 416 carry 2006 season”?
Word out of One Arrowhead Drive is that he looks like a million bucks right now and he has a couple things going in his favor. Mike Solari is out as the offensive coordinator and Chan Gailey is building a game plan that will be tailored to fit L.J strengths. Gone are a often injured Kyle Turley, John Welboun, Casey Wiegman and Chris Terry. They have been replaced with Brandon Albert, Rudy Niswanger, Herb Taylor and Barry Richardson. Not to say they will be better than the 2007 unit day one but they are bigger and more athletic than last years unit and once they gel they will be better.
The Chiefs will also have the 6-7 269 pound Brad Cottam blocking up front in two tight end formations. In addition Gailey will call a diverse array of plays to keep defenses off balance to prevent L.J. from running into the brick wall Chiefs fans saw so many times last year. The one missing ingredient that L.J. would need to succeed is a chip on his shoulder. The same chip on his shoulder that made him run for 1750 yards and 20 touch downs after only starting the second half of the 2005 season.
He may have the ammo he needs. Once touted as a sure fire top three pick in fantasy leagues now is being talked about as a fourth rounder in most leagues. Players like L.J. read those things and it can only make him more determined to regain his old form. To add fuel to that fire he also recently broke up with his three-year girl friend VJ Julissa from “106th and Park”. To sum up L.J. will be healthy. Playing behind a massive offensive line and angry as usual. All signs point to L.J. dominating defenses in 2008.